Officials of the Cross River state governnemt and officers of the Nigerian Navy in Calabar are putting finishing touches to preparations to receive President Buhari on Tuesday June 26, 2018 as the President returns to the state, this time, to commission the new completed Nigeria Navy Reference hospital and the Cross River state Rice Seeds and Seedlings factory also known as Rice City.
The multibillion Naira automated rice seed and seedlings factory according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita, is the first of its kind in Africa.
“Cross River State Government is happy to announce that His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari – GCFR will on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, commission our ultra-modern, fully automated rice seeds and seedlings factory in Calabar, “ read the statement in parts.
The factory is also a seed multiplication center that produces high-yielding, disease resistant and vitaminized rice seedlings.
The facility is one of many investments made in agriculture by the Ayade-led administration in keeping with his commitment to decouple the state from federal allocation through non-oil sources.
Speaking on the project recently, Governor Ayade said the state was capable of generating between N50 to 100 billion from the factory every year if given support by the federal government.
“When I told Cross Riverians that my ambition was to restructure the state and free it from over dependence on federal allocation, I truly meant it because with projects like this; we are going to generate more revenue for the state,” he said.
He assured that when it goes into commercial operation, the factory will produce seedlings that will be natural with no chemical added.
The governor expressed joy “that Cross River is on the path of independence even after we lost our oil wells unjustifiably. Now that we have a world class investment, we hope the federal government can support this our non oil export.”
It will be recalled that President in 2015 embarked on his first official assignment outside the FCT by visiting the state to herald the ground breaking ceremony for the 275km superhighway.
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